How to Become a Tutor

Many gifted students become tutors to make money while they are in school. Also, certified teachers turn to tutoring to supplement their income. There are different ways to be get involved in tutoring and many different areas of tutoring, this article will provide some information.

Education and Certification

There is no certification for tutors, but most tutors are typically working toward undergraduate or master’s degree programs. Most parents and learning centers will ask to see different education levels before hiring a tutor. In addition, many learning centers won't hire a tutor unless they are certified teachers.

In addition, most parents and learning centers will ask for references. Usually previous clients are acceptable, but they can also include personal reference from a professor. Since some tutors will be working with minor children, some learning centers will conduct a background check to make sure that the prospective tutor has never committed a crime against a child.

How to Get Started

If you have your teacher's certification or a graduate degree in an area such as math or science, you can look for job postings at learning centers, such as Sylvan or Oxford Learning Centers. You will have to apply with a resume, a cover letter, transcripts, if they ask for them and letters of reference. You may even go through training before beginning to tutor. The advantage to working with a learning center is that they will supply textbooks and supplementary material, as well as teaching aids and photocopying and additional expenses for a private tutor.

If you are completing your undergraduate degree, don't have teaching certification or don't want to work for a learning center, you can work as a private tutor. Registering with a college tutoring services database, putting up posters in a college's high traffic areas, or a classified ad on Craigslist or other free online posting center can get your started as a tutor.

You can also use these services to determine what a fair, hourly wage for tutoring would be in your area. For example, there are usually more experienced English tutors than there are senior-level biochemistry tutors, so a chemistry tutor can charge more money. Your fees will depend on how many students need your services and how many tutors you are competing with.

Areas to Explore

Math and science tutors are usually in demand, especially if they can offer specialized assistance for standardized tests, such as:

  • PSAT
  • SAT
  • GRE
  • MCAT

English tutors who can combine proofreading and editing services will also find more clients because they can specialize and perform in-demand services. Also, English instructors that can teach conversational English or ESL students will be in high demand.

You can also explore tutoring online, a blossoming area for language tutors. Many people who are native English speakers, or who teach in-demand languages from Europe and Asia, can teach online using Skype or Second Life and be paid well for their services. As an online tutor, you will need access to a reliable computer, broadband Internet connection, a microphone and headset. A web camera is optional.